EPA advances proposed repeal of Clinton-era standards

Source: Sean Reilly, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018

EPA today set an Oct. 29 deadline for public comments on a proposed rule to ease Clinton-era requirements for monitoring of nitrogen oxides emissions from many power plants and other large industrial polluters.

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler had signed the proposal two weeks ago (E&E News PM, Sept. 14). In publishing the proposed rule in today’s Federal Register, the agency said it does not intend to hold a public hearing unless someone makes a request by Thursday, Oct. 4.

Under the draft rule, some 20 states and the District of Columbia would have the option of dropping a requirement for “continuous emission monitoring” of releases of nitrogen oxides (NOx) linked to downwind formation of ozone outside of their borders. Instead, they could amend their state implementation plans (SIPs) to allow for “alternate forms of monitoring requirements,” the proposal says.

The existing requirement for continuous monitoring dates back to the so-called 1998 NOx SIP Call. EPA predicts that repeal could save some companies money, but says that actual emissions and air quality would not be affected.